Suicide is Painless…
Watching an ep of Season 6 Greys Anatomy (I LOVE) last night got me thinking about suicide…but not in the morbidly depressive state those with razors start thinking about…
I was thinking about physician supported suicide….in other words Euthanasia.
Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending a life in a manner which relieves pain and suffering.
Euthanasia, or voluntary assisted suicide, has been the subject of much moral, religious, philosophical, legal and human rights debate in Australia and all over the world. At the core of this debate is how to reconcile competing values: the desire of individuals to choose to die with dignity when suffering, and the need to uphold the inherent right to life of every person, as recognized by law.
Several legislative attempts have been made to legalize euthanasia in parts of Australia. However, at present, it remains unlawful.
It’s an extremely taboo and controversial topic that makes people incredibly uncomfortable – to good measure.
In this particular episode of Grey Anatomy the doctors at Seattle have prescribed a patient suffering her excruciating final weeks of terminal cancer a pill which will in effect end her life; and even though it’s just fictional TV, it’s an issue which is apparent in all spokes o f the world – one that raises many moral, ethical and emotional implications……
I remember a few years ago one of my cats was found in the backyard with a half masticated bird clamed in its greedy jaws. The bird was still alive……
The bird was in REALLY bad shape, broken limbs, blood everywhere – basically close to death anyway. There was nothing a vet could have done and it was under my mum’s opinion that it was our responsibility to put the bird out of its suffering as it made tiny little pleas with its ripped beak.
There was no way in HELL that I could do it. As much as it hurt me to see the innocent bird in agony I could not wring its neck or ‘hit it with a shovel’ as my mother suggested. I know it was selfish and immature but I just couldn’t…and I still couldn’t now – I just don’t have it in me.
This brings me to think that if it were a loved one the answer would be No; as much as they realised with me to help end their life, no matter how many hours they woke me screaming in agony. I couldn’t do it.
This is where a lot of the implications come to a head;
• If we love someone and they are in pain…wouldn’t we do everything in our power to end that pain?
• Wouldn’t we hope for the same love to be put upon us?
I guess this is why it’s good that we can get doctors to do it now as many of us cant…we can’t personally end someone’s life that we love…the prospect of them not being in our world is unbearable as it is – without us actually doing it.
Thinking about this makes me think about my poor dead dog – Schooner. Having been in our family for 18 years she had to leave us last year. She had to be put down which in effect is like euthanasia – because it was cruel to keep her alive and in pain just so we could keep her in our lives.
I know that many people think of animals differently than other humans – but its still the same concept and has really developed into some strong ponderings on my behalf…
PERSONALLY I know that I couldn’t help end anyone’s life; be it a pet, a person, a friend, a parent or my love.
That’s just me.